Eritoran, a synthetic analogue of lipid A, has been shown to bind to TLR4/MD-2 complex and thereby block the interaction of endotoxins with TLR4. We report here the results of a study conducted to assess the single-dose safety and tolerability, as well as the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, of eritoran infusion in Japanese and Caucasian healthy adult men. Sixty-four men (aged 20-45 years; body mass index 18-30kg/m(2)) were randomized into four groups: 4-mg total dose (six Japanese and six Caucasian men); 12-mg total dose (12 Japanese and 12 Caucasian men); 28-mg total dose (six Japanese and six Caucasian men); and placebo (eight Japanese and eight Caucasian men). Eritoran in single doses up to 28mg over 4h was well tolerated, with no apparent ethnic differences noted. Plasma concentrations were slightly higher in Japanese versus Caucasian men; these differences were not significant after adjustment for differences in body mass (clearance: approximately 1.2ml/h/kg; volume of distribution at steady state: approximately 0.07l/kg). The ex vivo endotoxin inhibitory activity of eritoran was similar in Japanese and Caucasian men. The data do not indicate any need for clinical dose adjustment for possible ethnic-based differences in drug distribution or metabolism.